“Hanna Wins” online release – Happy Halloween!

It’s that time of the year, which makes perfect reason to share “Hanna Wins”, a Halloween themed film online. Click HERE to watch it. Happy Halloween!

(English and Russian subtitles (CC) available on YouTube, you can select either one of these languages in video settings.)

What is it about? In short: He came back from the dead to make sure she can make it.

The film was made as part of Dublin Filmmakers Collective Halloween challenge 2017 where we had to write, shoot and complete a short film on a theme of Halloween within the month of October. I wanted to do a ghost story, however Giorgio, writer of the screenplay, also happens to be Italian.. Hence the upgrade from just a ghost story to a ghost story with a mafia (well, Dublin gangster) twist.

Initial version of the film was screened on a Halloween Night in 2017, however final version of the project was completed and screened on a Halloween Night of 2018. Released online – Halloween 2019. Hope you enjoy it!

Screenshot 2019-06-18 at 21.54.24

Intimacy on set – choreographing sex scenes

I had an opportunity to attend Ita O’Brien’s Intimacy on Set training in association with Screen Skills Ireland at the beginning of this year and I have to say I felt relieved. Let me explain..

When it comes to performing stunts- there is a stunt coordinator, who makes sure no one gets physically hurt. What about the mental damage? Imagine filming a rape scene?

Well, as a matter of fact, I did just that, last year. I directed a short film called “Hear a No” last year, that had a rough intimate scene in it. When I was preparing for rehearsals, I was researching how it must be done, in order to make it as comfortable as possible for everyone involved. I wanted to make sure I do right by both cast and crew. At the time, unfortunately, I haven’t come across Ita O’Brien’s technique. Most I got, was that it was meant to be a closed set. OK, but how do I approach rehearsals? And the shoot?

Luckily, at the time, I was participating in an acting class led by Terry McMahon, who is an amazing actor-writer-director himself. I turned to Terry for advise, as I knew he had nailed great intimate scenes in his films. Terry was very kind to help me out and shared how he approached rehearsing and filming intimate scenes. With his advice, I was able to make actors as comfortable with the scene as I could and the shoot went smoothly.

Back to Ita.. It’s absolutely amazing to see the extent of work Ita has put into creating the guidelines that everyone in the industry can follow on set while filming intimate scenes. Ita has developed a very thorough process and technique that she teaches. She also works as an intimacy coordinator and movement director. Ita has coordinated such major productions like Netflix’es “Sex Education” and BBC’s “Gentleman Jack” to name a few. HERE IS a short video of Ita talking a little bit about choreographing sex scenes.

Few takeaways from both Terry’s and Ita’s advice:

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  • Agree on level of nudity, discuss and rehearse the scene prior to shoot. Sign those forms.
  • Speak with each actor in private first, to establish their boundaries. Check past trauma to make sure it doesn’t get triggered. Know that consent can change from yes to no and another way around at the rehearsals or on set.
  • No objectifying. Use proper language to describe body parts, movements etc.
  • Agree physical touch. At rehearsals make sure each body part that is being touched/kissed is discussed and agreed upon.
  • Have a timeout sign which actors can use to stop the scene if at any time they feel uncomfortable.
  • Ask actors not to involve any emotions at the rehearsals stage. Use it purely for blocking. This will ensure that actors don’t give “their all” to a performance before camera can capture it.
  • As mentioned before- it’s a closed set for the whole duration of the shoot for the intimate scene (and not just for the takes). Phones and monitors are to be switched off, only those who absolutely need to be there present.
  • Schedule intimate scenes for the morning and discuss hygiene, make sure actors come in showered.
  • Get actors to try on bits of intimate wardrobe (like genital covers) before the shoot to make sure they fit.
  • Nudity is only from “action” to “cut” – get actors covered straight away after the “cut” and keep them covered until just before “action”.
  • And finally, have actors do some movement routine to get out of the character and back into their own selves after the shoot.

Ok, here it is, I hope you find it useful. I would strongly recommend attending Ita’s workshop. Also, having an intimacy coordinator on set for them scenes, if the budget allows. Take these scenes seriously and prepare appropriately. I believe we really need to take care of our emotions as much as we take care of ourselves physically.

I will leave Ita’s website here, it’s www.itaobrien.com you can find a lot of useful information about intimacy guidelines and upcoming workshops there.

Picture in this article was captured by Jaro Waldeck @jarucube www.jarowaldeck.com

 

Lift-Off Festival screening for Hanna Wins and Night Out in Killashandra

night out in killashandra underground and liftoff festThroughout this week (21st of January until midnight on Sunday, the 27th of January) it is possible to view and vote for Hanna Wins and Night Out in Killashandra as part of the Lift-Off festival online screening.

Along with Hanna Wins and Night Out in Killashandra, there are hundreds of other short films to see. jan p2 thumbnail

Night Out in Killashandra is part of Lift-Off Sessions January 2019 – Page 2, number 103 on the list. Click HERE to view.

Hanna Wins is part of Lift-Off Sessions January 2019 – Page 3, number 103 on the list. Click HERE to view. hanna wins poster liftoff festIt costs 10.95 € to view one page of festival’s sessions list, which includes 106 films to view. jan p3 thumbnail

If you do decide to support indie filmmakers and myself, and view the films, please also give us a vote. To vote for your favourite AND second favourite film, simply state film titles in the comments section of the sessions list. For example:

1) Example Favourite
2) Example Second Favourite

The Lift-Off Sessions exist to bring new eyes to the independent film market. In that way you can show your love to true indie cinema and get entertained by watching all of the beautiful work by passionate indie filmmakers around the world.

 

 

Hanna Wins screening

Hanna Wins PosterHalloween is upon us and it couldn’t have been a better time to be releasing and screening Hanna Wins short film, spooky- gangsta- comedy- drama.

A bit of a back history on it. The film was made as part of Dublin Filmmakers Collective Halloween challenge 2017 where we had to write, shoot and complete a short film on a theme of Halloween within the month of October. Which we did.. But it wasn’t the final, final cut that we screened at the last year’s Halloween party..

Throughout this year, myself, Arthur of Shadow Man Pictures and composer Gabriel F. Reyer worked to complete the post production on this film and produce the final final cut. Gabriel wrote a beautiful piece of music (well four, actually) to accompany the film and Arthur worked on the final cut, colour grading, special effects, titles, trailer and sound mix for the film. Bottom point- we made it to the final final cut and I’m really excited to start sharing it with the world.

Amazing and talented people were involved in this project on both sides of the camera and in post production and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with each and every one of them.

Hanna Wins cast and crew 2The first screening of the completed version of Hanna Wins is on 31st of October between 7:30PM and 9:00PM in The Harbour Bar at 1 Strand Road, Bray with NoWIFi Horror Film screenings and Halloween Party. Come join us, free in.

Trailer for hanna wins can be viewed –> by clicking HERE

Female Filmmaker Friday

A little sneak peek into mine..

PSX_20180526_003616Saw the first draft of the movie that we filmed recently (it’s looking awesome yaaaay!) just few minor tweaks and it will be ready for submission to festivals- check ✔️

Voted to repeal the 8th – check ✔️

PSX_20180526_001402Got my hair cut and looking all pretty – check ✔️

Visited my ex-workplace (Microsoft) and their new shiny building in Leopardstown and got to hug and chat with my favourite peeps with whom I spent loads and loads of hours working and who are still my dear friends + made a party (I DJ’d with my Spotify play list) in the dressing area and got to meet new amazing ladies + chilled out on the rooftop terrace with cakes and latte’s (afternoon tea traditions like back in the days were revived- indeed, indeed) – check ✔️ 

Ladies Evening at Leopardstown Races – check ✔️

Now on to script editing… It’s past midnight, I know. It’s OK, I’ve got coffee.. Cccccchheeeecck (loading)

Hope you all had a fantastic and productive Friday! Happy weekend!

 

Behind the scenes of “Banter” and “Night Out in Killashandra” short films

PSX_20180514_201617My example of time well spent.. One day. Two short films made. Amazing banter was had. Literally..

Banter is the name of a short film written by Fabien Oman. A beautiful piece that explores mental health through… well, a bit of a friendly banter. I believe that talking and being open about mental health issues helps. This is why I was really keen to get involved, to spread the word and share it with more people on screen.

PSX_20180514_202017Night Out in Killashandra is another short film that we filmed on the same day, last Saturday. I wrote the screenplay for that. Seeing people in a pub or a bar swiping left and right on popular dating apps and not paying attention to the immediate surroundings prompted me to write it. It explores another theme too… To find out, you’ll just have to watch the movie when it’s out.

How did we manage to squeeze production of two short films in one day?

  • They were very, very short. 1 minute short to be precise.
  • It was a very intense day on set with a very talented bunch of people on both sides of the camera.

Click HERE for behind the scenes video that was filmed by Conor Tobin and edited by Philip Kidd.PSX_20180514_223114

Film talk with Matt from The What I Watched Tonight Show

Screenshot_20180507-221341__01__01I’m pleased to share my very first interview as a filmmaker.

Check it out on What I Watched Tonight <– CLICK HERE

You can expect to hear about how disastrously “well” my first acting class went, how I got on filming short films “If I would have been back home” and “Hanna Wins”, also about who my favourite film directors are and why…